Friday, 13 May 2016


Title of my Project 7 Speech is “The Epidemic”

As discussed in the previous blog this speech is about my own feeling of being left out which was a product of my shyness

Dear Mr.Toastmaster, Fellow Members and Guests – Very Good Evening.

Can anyone guess which disease has the most probability of being the greatest epidemic of this century?

Malaria?... Swine Flu…?Aids…?Cancer…? No

According to recent research in US by the National Office of Statistics, one in five people will go a whole week without speaking to anyone, with a staggering one in ten people spending up to a month without any human connection.

The World Health Organisation has rated “LONELINESS” as a higher risk to health than smoking and as great a risk as obesity.

When I was living in Kolkata, I had a person residing on my apartment block. I met him almost every day, but never spoken to him more than a “Hi” or a dry smile. I knew him probably more than 4 years. One night he was taken to hospital - never returned… I since learned that he has terminal brain cancer and is living out his final days.

Its not only in India, In Perth I am travelling in the same Bus for the last three years, see familiar faces everyday, but have never spoken more than hello.

We hardly take time even to know our neighbors, we are engrossed into our iPods, iPads and gizmos these day.

Two major impacts of these loneliness are suicide and divorce.

According to the report from WHO, 25 commit suicide every hour, 80% of them are linked with loneliness.

It is said “Marriages are made in Heaven”, I don’t know to what extent that is true, but I’ve no doubt that divorces are made in earth.

On divorce, recent statistics shows that close to 4000 divorce cases are filed in Australia in 2014 it’s a spike of 11% from the year before.

Loneliness is increasing due to nuclear families, youngsters working away from home living on their own, both husband and wife working with no time for togetherness . Especially elders in the society are affected the most. More than half of those over the age of 75 live alone and about one in ten suffers ‘intense’ loneliness that leads to Alzheimer.

It is a well-known fact, psychologically established, that if a person is left alone in isolation for seven days he keeps talking inside, keeps himself engaged in the mind, but then it becomes too much after seven days he starts talking… things start coming out of his mind through his mouth and he starts whispering. After fourteen days you can hear him clearly, what he is saying. After twenty-one days he does not bother about anybody, he has gone insane; now he is talking to walls, to pillars. He is trying to find some relationship. If he cannot find it in reality, he will create a hallucination.

In this age of social networking, you’d wonder how anyone could ever feel lonely. I have a friend who has close to 800 Facebook friends, but very few people he can honestly call real friends, and even fewer with whom he could connect on a deeper level.

With facebook, twitter and other social networking tools, we have more and more ways to connect with others through the advances in technology, but the level of connection that is happening is becoming increasingly superficial. All of the technology in the world can’t change the fact that we are growing more and more socially isolated in our society.

“While it’s nice to be in touch with your cousin on the other side of the world over Facebook, that can’t replace a more intimate face-to-face relationship…, you need to balance this with relationships within the community you are actually living in,”

Once, I attended a function to keep work of my family. It was my  Dad’s friend, and I being abroad for hew years had lost the touch with max of them. I knew none other than the Uncle. The function probably had couple of hundred person attending. In-spite of all that I felt terribly alone there as I was not knowing anyone in the function.

It isn’t merely the physical presence of others that will solve the problem. It is the lack of emotional connection with other people that creates the feeling of isolation and loneliness. It isn’t as simple as just getting out there and meeting new people.  It’s no point in having more acquaintances…but a real deep connection and emotional bonding is important. It requires time, effort, and at least a moderate level of risk.  One has to put him or herself out there in order to gain closeness with another human being.

Some simple tips to overcome loneliness could be;

  • Try to say a few words with the hello when ever you meet somebody.
  • Talk to children. They probably ae the most easiest and refreshing to talk to. You don’t have to think of anything else while talking to them
  • Tey to be open with your family and friends. Couple of close friends will do.
  • Get involved in some voluntary activities.
  • And last but not the least join a Toastmaster club. One good club is City of Perth Toastmaster.

“Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.” Mother Teresa

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